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Can’t Miss Diagnoses – Necrotizing Fasciitis

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Learning Objectives

  • Classic signs & symptoms
  • Similar soft tissue infections
  • Emergency management

Course Description

The Can’t Miss Diagnosis series focuses on diseases that are relatively rare, difficult to diagnose, and catastrophic when diagnosis and treatment are delayed. The key to good outcomes for these diseases is to be prepared in advance to recognize and treat them, and to address individual cases with a high index of suspicion for disorders that are infrequently seen.

Necrotizing fasciitis (NF) is a devastating threat to life and limb that is too often mistaken for a superficial skin infection. Mere hours of delay in treating NF with emergency surgical debridement can result in repeated surgeries—5, 10, even 40 returns to the operating room—ending in massive loss of tissue and function, disfigurement, and often amputation of an affected limb.

In this course, you will learn about the signs and symptoms of NF and the appropriate emergency management to achieve best outcomes.

Author Information

Course development guided by the expertise of Dr. Per Danielsson, who is a board-certified internist at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA. In his Can’t Miss Diagnoses courses, Dr. Danielsson shares his deep expertise in identifying endangered patients, treating underlying causes, and responding to challenging cases by navigating through a variety of therapy options. Good outcomes in these cases require swift, well-informed diagnosis and treatment.

Did You Know...

  • Only 15–34% of patients with NF receive an accurate admitting diagnosis
  • 1/3 of patients with NF die
  • NF is occurring more frequently due to the increase in immunocompromised patients with diabetes, cancer, transplants, HIV, and neutropenia

Course at a Glance

target audience icon Target Audience:


time to complete icon Time to Complete:

30 Minutes

contributor icon Contributor:

Swedish Medical Center

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